Sustainable Community Initiative

Best Home Improvement Companies for your Community


Six Steps to Ensure a Quality Windshield Replacement

If you are looking to get your vehicle’s windshield replaced in Winchester, Purcellville, Front Royal VA or the surrounding areas you may have some questions about the process. Sustainable Community Initiative has provided a quick study guide to prepare you for what you can expect. Glass Doctor Winchester has given us access to their six step process which hopefully will give you a checklist on things to look for when choosing a windshield replacement service.

Windshield Replacement

Step 1 – Assess the Damage

Before preforming any work make sure your glass repair technician thoroughly inspects the damage. This is essential for determining the best repair method. You may go in requesting an entire windshield replacement however; a simple Glass Doctor of Winchester polishing technique could repair damage if the crack is smaller than a dollar bill.

Step 2 – Remove the Windshield

Make sure when your technician goes to extract the windshield that it is handled with care. If not performed correctly, the pinchweld can be damaged. The pinchweld is what holds your windshield in place. If the pinchweld becomes damaged it can lead to leaks or rust in your vehicle.

Step 3 – Select the Correct Windshield

Glass Doctor of Winchester offers original equipment manufactured quality windshield glass. This means the windshield will fit correctly to your vehicle. Using a copy of an original equipment mold may not fit the exact dimensions of your car’s windshield frame. This again could lead to issues in regards to leaking and increased road noise. That is why choosing the right windshield for your vehicle is important.

Step 4 – Apply New Adhesive

This is pretty self-explanatory. An original equipment manufactured windshield should be paired with a high quality adhesive. Glass Doctor of Winchester uses only the highest quality adhesives, same adhesives the original manufacturer uses. This means when you replace your windshield with Glass Doctor your auto glass will be just like it was when you bought your car.

Step 5 – Install the New Windshield

The Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council has outlined a 20-point installation procedures checklist that reputable windshield replacement specialists follow. The most important item to keep in mind is the recommended “drive away” time. Make sure your technician advises you on the standard time a windshield replacement should set. If the auto glass hasn’t settled properly, it can lead to injury to vehicle occupants.

Step 6 – Review the Guarantee

Make sure you choose a windshield replacement specialist who provides you with a comprehensive guarantee or warranty. Glass Doctor of Winchester offers a G12 guarantee. They promise that if the replacement windshield they installed is damaged or broken within 12 months of service then they will repair or replace the auto glass with no additional charge. Make sure you understand all of the warranty terms and exclusions.


Finding the Right Entry Door

Every entry door building material has its list of pro’s and con’s. If installed correctly, fiberglass, steel, and wood can all be high performing options. You will often be forced to make a decision based on price and the aesthetic that matches your home’s exterior. Steel can often cost up to five times as much as its wooden door counterpart. It is worth mentioning, however, that steel does not swell under hot, humid conditions, making it a great alternative for people living in hot or tropical climates.

Look for a company’s accolades such as EnergyStar approved products. These doors will be guaranteed to meet high energy efficiency standards through tight fitting frames, and multi-paned glass. Doors generally don’t let quite as much heat escape as windows, but stand near your old entry door with bare feet during the winter and be your own judge of the value of an expert installed entry door. I’d put money on the chances that you’ll be running for the closest pair of wool socks after just a minute or two.

Don’t forget about the safety of your family. Not all locks are made equally. Ask your door installation company about the construction of their lock hardware and the options you have for security. Finally, as with any service company, don’t forget to ask around for price quotes and second opinions from other companies.


What To Look For In A Roofing Panel Supplier

Your house is probably the largest investment you have, as such, you want to do everything you can to make sure that each part is well cared for and properly maintained. Every home is built differently, which means that any number of things can go wrong or need repair, but one thing that need special attention in every house is the roof.  A well built roof keeps your house safe from the elements, warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Just like any other possession, it may require maintenance or repair over time, which means you will need to find a reliable roofing panel supplier (like OFIC North America) that is knowledgeable and experienced in all types of roofing panels.

All roof’s are generally made tough, but they are far from the same. Flat roofs are made differently than angled roofs, and the panels used in high heat areas are much different than those used in areas where heavy snowfall and rain are regular events. Roofing panels play a large part in how well the roof functions overall, so finding a reliable roofing panel supplier is the best way to ensure that your repairs will stand the test of time.

Any roofing panel supplier should be licensed and sell only certified and tested panels that are properly chosen for the climate your house is located in. As well, the supplier should be able to offer you several choices for both flat roofs and slanted roofs. Most suppliers of roofing panels will sell in bulk and also suggest matching bonding materials that are best suited to your roof, panels, and climate. If you don’t already have a contractor, you can also ask the supplier for suggestions for affordable, local installation.


The Benefits of Granite

When it comes to analyzing your home, and trying to make it the most perfect place for you to live, it’s really hard to pass up the look that granite can bring to its appearance.  Some of the most breathtaking kitchens out there, designed by the best modern kitchen designers in the business – utilize granite to provide a pristine, elegant look to not just the kitchen, but the entire home.  Looking great, feeling great, and adding immense value to a home is not the only reason for depending on Granite as a pivotal part of your kitchen, and there are plenty more benefits that come from utilizing it in your home.

Granite – Why It’s The Best

Aside from being more expensive than the traditional wooden and vinyl counter-tops found to date, granite is honestly one of the best materials that we today utilize as a surface. This is due to more than just a significant improvement to curb appeal.  To start with, the molecular structure of granite is not supportive of bacteria – it lacks the porous surface and microscopic holes that allow for bacteria to survive in, which if you happen to have children living in your home (most of us do) becomes a major plus when taking into account the investment.

Keeping it clean is also a very, very easy process.  A mild detergent, some warm water, and a soft rag is more than enough to keep everything shining and looking brand new – reducing the need for specialized chemicals that we typically rely on to keep things clean.  Also, consider the lifespan of Granite.  It literally will last forever as long as its well-kept and maintained throughout its use – and honestly that comes down to avoiding forceful blows, and damaging collisions with other items that are hard enough to cause a fracture to the surface.  It can even withstand heat from hot pans, although it is still recommended as a best practice to use coasters and trivets whenever possible. If you do manage to stain your granite, then don’t worry – it’s still possible to restore it back to the original appearance.

One thing that many of us don’t think about, is that granite gives you the ability to really add a unique and appealing look to your home through the many, many color options and finishes that are available today.  One company in particular that has always had an extravagant selection to choose from is Granite Source, and I encourage everyone that finds any interest in upgrading to granite to check out their website or contact them for more information.


Drywall Repairs: Minor Damage

Repairing damage to drywall and sheetrock takes patience, skill and expertise.  Of course, you don’t have to be an expert, or a seasoned professional in the construction industry in order to properly repair a hole in a wall – all you have to do is be willing to learn and take your time while doing so!  Generally speaking, there is a standard approach to fixing damage to drywall.

Assessing The Damage

So the first thing you are going to want to do is investigate just how much drywall is damaged – as this is going to determine whether or not you can simply get away with a minor patch to the hole, or if you are going to have remove a large section of drywall and replace it with a fresh cut piece to match the missing section.  Damage caused by, for example, something the size of a doorknob or smaller can easily be patched.  On the other hand, damage that is larger – the size of a book for example, is going to require a bit more effort and work for the proper repair.  Remember, taking your time is necessary – as repair to drywall is clearly a cosmetic change, so the end goal is for the job to look good.

Small Holes and Minor Damage

Minor damage and smaller holes, that range from the size of a golf ball to a door knob, are easily repaired with the use of a patch and drywall putty.  The patch is a square piece of mesh that is made from a variety of materials that range from metal to fiberglass. The gist of the repair is to first clean the wall so that its free of dust and debris – anything that may cause a problem with the adhesive sticking to the wall.  Next you are going to place the mesh over the hole so that it completely covers the damaged area, as well as the non-damaged area around the site that needs repair.  Aim for approximately 1/4” overhang.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOnce you have the mesh screen in place, you are ready to apply the drywall compound using a putty knife.  Scoop up enough on the end of your putty knife, and from top to bottom apply pressure and smooth the putty over the mesh screen and damaged area.  Repeat as needed, however do not use too much compound as you will be creating more work for yourself in the end.  Once the area is smoothed over and covered with the compound, allow for it to dry.  Dry times take between 1 and 6 hours – and it is dependent on things such as temperature and humidity.

When the compound has dried completely, the next step is to sand the area down so that is smooth and even with the rest of the wall.  This is where experience pays off – as if you are doing this for the first time you are likely going to be repeating the entire process several times before the project is complete.  Sand down bumps, cracks and crevices in the drywall compound – and don’t worry if you sand too much.  Once you have sanded it down enough, apply more compound and repeat until everything looks smooth and even.  Clean the area from dust and proceed with painting as needed.

Of course, DIY repairs for homeowners isn’t always easy or appealing for everyone.  That’s where companies like The Carpentry & Painting Experts come in!  Their handyman services are perfect for repairs to damaged drywall, railings, and more.  If home improvement and repairs aren’t your thing – don’t worry, just call a professional.



Choosing the Right Window Treatment for Your Home in Richmond, VA

If you are looking for a fast and easy way to upgrade the appearance of your home in Richmond, VA consider investing into interior window treatments. Mann Kidwell is a local, family-owned corporation that has been specializing in the window shade business for over 60 years. Your home is an appreciating asset that you want to enjoy every day. Ditch your old and drab plastic blinds and choose from a wide selection of window treatment products that best fit your needs. Listed below are some examples of interior window treatments offered by Mann Kidwell in Richmond.


Plantation Shutters Plantation shutters

Mann Kidwell’s solid wood plantation shutters offer a traditional design concept to your home. Mann Kidwell plantation shutters are custom make to ensure the right look and fit to your windows. They are made from a durable kiln dried Poplar and Basswood that will help to better insulate your home. This will have an overall effect on your energy bills by reducing your heating, cooling, and electrical consumption. Their hardwood shutters are also environmentally friendly which are available in a number of arch and sizing options.


Solar Screen Shades Solar Screens

Mann Kidwell also carries a line of GreenGuard SheerWeave shades. The SheerWeave shades allow the room to remain visibly open to the outdoors while reducing interior light exposure which improves energy efficiency. They allow the room to diffuse light which will reduce glare and control solar heat gain. Mann Kidwell SheerWeave solar screen shades are a great addition to any office or commercial space.


Drapery and Soft Treatments Window Drapery

Every home and home owner has their own unique style. Mann Kidwell of Richmond has an in-house decorator which will advise you on the best bed skirts, drapery, and re-upholstery services that fit the design of your home. They carry the best names in drapery fabrics and trims such as Robert Allen and Kravet. You can customize your favorite fabric and drapery hardware to finish off every room in your house.


If you are in the Richmond, Virginia area, stop by the Mann Kidwell showroom at 6011 West Broad Street to get inspiration in transforming your home. Also if you love a particular Mann Kidwell design and live outside of the Central Virginia area they will ship their products to you anywhere in the continental U.S. Visit their website for the full selection of window treatment designs and start creating your dream home today!


Your Roofing Options

Are you building or re-roofing your house? It’s important to invest in the right type of roof because they are so expensive to fix. Look into your different options in terms of price, durability, and aesthetics.

First of all, decide between a metal roof and shingles. The pro main pro of metal roofs is that they are extremely durable. They are also lightweight and easy to install. However, metal roofs are also much more expensive than other options.

Shingles are more common and easier to find. Typically, they are less durable than metal. However, shingles do come in materials that last just as long as metal and look just as elegant.

The main type of shingle is asphalt. Asphalt is the most common form of roof because it is cheap and easy to find. However, asphalt is heavy and a little difficult to install. It also has the lowest life and can have issues in extreme weather.

Another great option for shingles is slate. Slate looks professional and is as durable as metal. You could also consider finding a roofing contractor who uses synthetic slate, which is a little less durable but still higher quality than asphalt.

You can also buy wood or tile shingles. These air on the expensive side but have a unique look.

With a wide selection of materials and different benefits, there is bound to be great roof for your house. Remember to research these options carefully because the roof plays a big role in your household, keeping your family warm and dry.


Quality Counts! Choose Jan-Pro Cleaning Systems to Keep Your Business Booming.

I’ve lived in the Greensboro, North Carolina area for a couple months now. My family relocated for my husband’s job. I’ve been a stay-at-home mom for the past couple years. It was important to me that I spend time with my two boys, Matt and Graham, until they were old enough to go to school. Now that my youngest, Matt, is going into first grade I thought it was time that I re-enter the work force. I received a degree in Business Administration from the University of Maryland in 1995. I wanted a career that would allow me to use my professional strengths while still being able to focus on my family.

I reconnected with an old colleague a couple years ago who was looking to change career paths. We both have a passion for our families and professional independence. She also recently relocated to the Greensboro, NC area and we saw a rising need for reliable and affordable childcare. We decided to partner up and opened our own franchise day-care/pre-school. We were looking forward to taking on all aspects of the small business ourselves.  Janitorial Services

We quickly learned that running a day-care with over 30 children on a daily basis can get very messy. It was important to us to keep a healthy, safe, and clean environment for our kids. However at the end of a 10-hour work day, cleaning the daycare became too much for me to handle. My business partner and I began researching for professional janitorial services for cleaning commercial spaces in the Greensboro, NC area when we came across Jan-Pro Janitorial Services.

We noticed that they offered services from upholstery services and carpet care to dusting and hard floor waxing. We decided to invest in daily commercial cleaning services to come in every night once we closed down for the day. We have noticed a tremendous difference in our business. When parents come to tour our daycare they always have positive comments about our facility and its appearance.

Now after only being in business for a short period of time, we already have a waiting list of families who want their child to attend our daycare and pre-school. Lastly the staff at Jan-Pro could not be any better! They are always prompt, thorough, and friendly. We could not function and thrive as a business without the help of Jan-Pro Janitorial Services. Call them today and your business will be guaranteed to impress clients.


Raleigh’s Top Plumbing Company

Something that I find to be more common among homeowners and property managers than I originally suspected is that most of them don’t actually know who to turn to when they need good, reliable services from industry providers.  One of the most common fields that this occurs for is plumbers and plumbing technicians, which isn’t much of a surprise.  This is probably because when most of find that we need to call a plumber, it tends to be for an emergency or a repair that we just want fixed – and we don’t have the time to put extra thought into beyond that.  Well, today I’m going to cover a company that has been providing not just plumbing services to the residents of Raleigh, NC – they’ve been providing some of the best plumbing services in the entire state!

Mr. Rooter of Wake County

Now, for most of us – we are pretty familiar with the name and brand of Mr. Rooter.  They have been around for a long time, and are common in almost every state.  What exactly is setting Mr. Rooter of Wake County apart from other competing plumbing companies in their area?  That one is easy, they are absolutely committed to providing not only repairs and services for plumbing problems, they also focus on providing added value to their customers – and making them feel as comfortable as possible with having their technicians provide repairs in their home or business.  They do this by focusing heavily on remaining courteous and professional at all times, following protocols set forth by the franchise owner (Dwyer Group), and most importantly – treating their customers the way they should be treated, like friends and neighbors.

Just some of the feedback I’ve reviewed, and the mentions I’ve heard about this company from Raleigh residents involves fairness and value, never overcharging for repairs like other companies have seemingly done in the past, and they apparently are very fast when responding to emergency service calls.  While I’m on the topic of emergency calls, that’s one thing that Mr. Rooter has always stood out for.  They never charge additional fees, overtime rates, or otherwise inflate the cost of repairs when responding to an after hours emergency call.  Now, I’m not sure about you, but if my home is about to be flooded and its 1 A.M., I’m almost happy to pay a fortune for the repair even if it only costs 10% of the price during normal business hours.  I’m sure many others are just as desperate in that situation, and knowing that there is a plumber out there that’s willing to race to the rescue without any additional incentive is a real quality signal, for both the company, their philosophy, and the technicians personal morals.

If you’re lucky enough to live in North Carolina, and close enough to get the service that Mr. Rooter of Wake County provides to the residents of Raleigh, then I do envy you!  A great plumber is a needle in a haystack, one that many others never find.


Easy Ways to Save Energy

electric-billYou look at your energy bill and try to keep your heart from jumping out of your ribcage.  Believe it.  It’s actually higher than you expected it to be, and it’s going to drive you nuts if you don’t do something about it soon.  No need to worry anymore because here are some great and easy ways to save energy (and money) on your next bill.

Turn off the Lights

Do you remember your parents nagging you about leaving the lights on in a room when you weren’t using it?  I sure do, and there is a definite reason for that.  It’s wasting electricity!  Turning off lights when you don’t need them immediately saves energy and money on your bill.  It doesn’t matter how long the light is on for.  Once you waste energy, you’re paying for it.  Plain and simple.

Use Ceiling or Box Fans

Instead of cranking up your air conditioning unit to cool your entire home, make use of circulating the air by using your ceiling fan or purchasing a box fan.  A fan uses about the same amount of energy as a light bulb, so imagine the amount of money that will save you in the long run.

Disconnect Electronic Devices

You are about to leave the house to run errands, and you made sure that the TV and computer were turned off before leaving.  While this is a great habit on saving some energy, you are still using electricity.  Plugged in devices, even when turned off, are energy leeches that can shoot up your electric bill.  Instead of unplugging each device individually every time, get a power cord that can handle multiple devices.  That way you can conveniently turn off all of your selected devices at one time.

Switch to Fluorescent Bulbs

fluorescent bulbA great way to save energy is to switch out your regular light bulbs for fluorescent ones.  They generally use 75% less energy, and they also last longer.

If you want to find more possible ways to save money on your electric bill, call a local electrical contractor who can recommend possible electrical upgrades for your home or workplace.